Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Treasure Hunt

Every year at about this time, the local county library holds a four day long book sale. (Actually they sell videos and tapes, too.) They sell old books in order to raise fund for new materials. It's a fantastic deal, as most of the books are sold for fifty cents to a dollar. As happens lately, life got in the way and I was unable to go to the sale the first day. I was really hoping I could find some great books in the children's section and knew that the really good stuff would disappear the first day.
Two days later, I finally dragged myself over to the sale and saw that the very section I hoped to peruse was VERY picked over. I decided that since I was there, I might as well look. I grabbed a brown bag and started hunting. As any bargain shopper can tell you, there is a definite process and method to finding hidden bargains. I'm not going to give away all my secrets, but I will tell you that perseverance is key. You need to look everywhere. A few hours and a few hundred square feet later, and I emerged from the sale with this:

A few nature reference books and one on Charles Schultz that I couldn't resist. The real gems, however are these:
Sorry for the glare, but you can see that Richard Scarry's Great Big Schoolhouse is on top. Scarry is extremely nostalgic for me, and I can honestly recognize his influence in my own illustration work. I've bought several books for my son just because I read and adored them as a child. Here's a peek at a page:
The next book is called Homes. It's written and illustrated by Virginia Parsons. The book is a combination of stunning colors and black and white pages. They all show glimpses into the homes of creatures worldwide.
I could stare at this page in particular for hours. :)
But the one I consider to be the greatest treasure of them all is this one:
If you can't tell by the gorgeous artwork, it's a Golden Book. It was written by Kathleen Daly and illustrated by Aurelius Battaglia. I found this book buried under a bunch of well-known licensed characters junk, and had to hold my gasp in when my hand pulled it from under the pile. (I adore elephants and recently restricted my collecting to select items.) A lady next to me whirled around to see what had grabbed my attention and when she saw it, shrugged and continued to plow through the books. I was glad she (and others before her) failed to see the beauty of what I held in my hands. That meant that I was able to find it and bring it home. It's gorgeous, and as my eye roves over the pages, I keep stopping to savor the deliciousness of the art. I mean look at this page for heaven's sake!

Treasure, pure treasure!


  1. I would have been gasping too.
    Just gorgeous. Lucky girl!


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